Figures from the Department for Education show only 83.5% got their first choice secondary school starting September 2017.
In 2016, 84.1% of children got their first choice. In 2010, just 83.1% got their first choice but it had been steadily rising until now.
This year, 94.6% of children got one of their top three secondary school choices. This is down 0.4% since 2016.
There was a total of 562,487 applications made to secondary schools across England this year - the highest number since 2008.
At local level, Northumberland (98.2%), Cornwall (97.3%) and Bedford (96.8%) achieved the three best first preference rates in 2017.
The lowest first preference rates at secondary level were all in London. Hammersmith and Fulham (53.6%), Westminster (56.6%) and Lewisham (57.8%) achieved the lowest rates in 2017.
The figures were a lot higher for children starting primary school in September 2017: 90% of children got their first choice primary school, up from 88.4% in 2016.
And another 7.2% of children got either their second or third primary school choice.
In the 2017/18 school year, there were 20,000 less primary applications than last year, with 620,330 applications in 2017 compared to 641,572 in 2016.
Discussing the released figures, a Department for Education spokesman told The Telegraph: “The vast majority of parents continue to secure a place at their first choice of school for their child, 86.9% - with more than 95% having received offers at one of their top three choices.
“There are already 1.8 million more children in good or outstanding schools than 2010 but we want to do more to ensure every child has access to a good school place.”
As a parent, if you wish to appeal the school your child has been assigned to, your first step is to lodge your intention to appeal with the Admission Authority for that particular school. For information on the appeals process, read our guide here.